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tv   History of the U.S. Coast Guard  CSPAN  September 6, 2015 11:05am-12:00pm EDT

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alexander hamilton in through 1790 the world wars and the present day. he discusses the many leaders of the coast guard and their missions while in service. this 55 minute program was hosted by the u.s. navy memorial in celebration of the 225th anniversary. mark: good afternoon, i am mark webber curator of the memorial in atlanta and i'm pleased to welcome you to another one of our programs as i welcome tom ostrom back to the memorial to speak on his book, "the united states coast guard: 1790 to the present." it is fitting we do this today, the coast guard's 225th birthday. the book was recently published by mcfarland and company. this is tom's fifth book on the coast guard. he is a prolific author and we are always happy to have him here.
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tom was a member of the coast guard reserve and taught anthropology, geology and history at rochester community college in minnesota before retiring. he is the author of several books including, "the u.s. coast guard, 1790-present." "the u.s. coast guard on the great lakes." "the coast guard in world war ii." "the coast guard and national defense." it is a member for the foundation of coast guard history, u.s. lifesaving heritage association, the national maritime historical society and the united states navy memorial. we're very please to have you back here at the memorial today, tom. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, i am honored to be here at the u.s. navy memorial. was called the
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revenue service in the revenue marine. they have served with the u.s. navy since 1800 and every domestic and overseas conflict. they integrate together and do missions together. it is a wonderful organization. we've also done work with the u.s. marine corps -- petty officer wilkinson over there in navy uniform, and we are happy to see you all. john is the co-author of the book and he put the frosting on the cake that made it good. he has so much talent. he has written articles and he has published books and is an expert on the u.s. life-saving service. and the u.s. lighthouse service. john couldn't be here. he has a complex schedule and could not get over from massachusetts. he is a wonderful coast guard historian. speaking of coast guard historians, the associate historian from the u.s. coast guard headquarters in washington
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dc, scott price is with us. he is an expert on many things in the coast guard, but he wrote wonderful material on the coast guard in the korean war. from the pusan perimeter to the missions they had elsewhere. we are happy to have you here. kansas clifford is an expert on the lighthouse service. she and john our friends and experts in that field. we are happy to have all of you here. if some of you experts care to correct me on anything, just sit where you are and forget it. [laughter] we have plenty of experts here. so, yes, this is 225th anniversary of the coast guard. alexander hamilton was george washington's secretary of the treasury and congress, on august 4, 1790, they created the revenue marines later called the revenue cutter service and later called the u.s. coast guard.
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the revenue marines -- america's first federal navy was disbanded after the revolutionary war, and would come back and 1795 and the two services would fight the war of 1812, the mexican war, spanish-american war and world war i. the u.s. navy coast guard and the marines have partnered for a long time. we call the predecessor agency those that we are going to discuss that will evolve into the coast guard. alexander hamilton designed and administered the cutter service. why are the ships called cutters? what is revenue? the revenue marine was responsible for managing export commercial ships because that is how the u.s. government got its revenue then. there were no taxes then.
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it also stopped smuggling, and got into other scientific exploration and search and rescue and partnered with the u.s. navy. the fleet of revenue cutters -- cutter -- in the coast guard, that is a boat 65 feet or longer and gets its name from the british. the british had revenue cutters supplementing the royal treasury in its mission, sailing ships, and that is where the term cutter comes from. among the many wars that the revenue cutter service was in, the civil war. here is captain john fowlkes of the u.s. revenue cutter service. he fired the first naval shots of the civil war in charleston harbor. at the commencement of the civil war revenue cutter service and the u.s. navy had many different dangerous missions, blockade
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squads and other things together in the civil war. the seminal revenue cutter was built in 1900. you see that it has a stack which was coal powered and steam powered, yet it had masts that were sail powered. it is called an auxiliary ship, and both methods of mobility had their advantages. why is it called the cutter seminole ?among the many wars ? among the many wars the marines were in were the seminole wars. the seminoles did themselves proud. it is 180 feet long and it had deck guns and operated there.
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and the u.s. navy and the revenue cutter service fought the war of 1812 against britain together, they fought pirates together, they intercepted slave ships together and they were in the mexican war together and the spanish-american war together and world war i and world war ii and korea, vietnam, etc. president coolidge is in the middle there, we are talking roughly the 1920's. george putnam is standing to his right. mr. putnam was the head of the viewer lighthouses and the lighthouse establishment. the lighthouse service began in the 1789 but the british colonial government had lighthouses, too, in america. the lighthouse service and the lighthouse keepers and crews -- they did a lot of life saving. the lighthouses were stationed at dangerous entrances to ports. in heavy winds, the sailing
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ships did not have much maneuverability and they would hit rocks or shores and sink. the lighthouse services saved lives. so did the u.s. life-saving service save lives. the lighthouse service had light ships. they had the first light ship in chesapeake bay in 1820. here you see the coast guard ship number 612. it is dangerous duty. this is off the nantucket shoals of massachusetts. they were stationed by the rocks and the heavy seas. that was very dangerous. but lighthouse ships had the duty of warning ships away from dangerous territory so they had to be in the dangerous territory. it was dangerous duty and the crews were skilled. in 1939, the lighthouse service was absorbed by the coast guard. here you can see a coast guardsmen manning the lighthouse, hopefully he is off
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duty there. [laughter] mark: summoner kimball, a civilian, he headed the u.s. lifesaving service all the way through world war i. he was one of the few civilian chiefs of the u.s. revenue marine. most were revenue cutter officers. joshua james was a keeper of a lifesaving station. u.s. lifesaving service at hull, massachussetts. he was in that service. look at the medals he won after more than 40 years. he died on duty at the age of 75. how he died was -- he was losing
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life service employees and they had to go into the surf in heavy seas because that is when ships sank and they would go out in their rowboats in heavy seas and rescue passengers and mariners, and he was losing life service members. so he would take them out in the roughest surf and the highest waves and the biggest storms so they would get used to their duties and responsibility and do it as safely as possible. after one of those training sessions, he dropped dead on the beach at the age of 75. these are african-americans in the postwar segregated south. they had lifesaving duties in the treacherous waters of pea
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island, off the tina: north carolina outer banks where hundreds of ships had sunk. they did their job so well that the southerners wanted them to stay where they were. they saved lots of lives. the secretary of the treasury ran the revenue cutter service. the service was under the department of the treasury. here was an interesting treasury secretary. a lot of coast guard cutters are named after treasury secretaries. john spencer was secretary of war in the 1840's and then treasury secretary. the multimission service, responsible for peacetime missions, search and rescue and , other things, yet they are a national defense force. from his dual background he was excellent at leaving the service in that way. here is george boutwell, treasury secretary in the late 1800s under president grant.
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boutwell has a cutter named after him. he had the responsibility of getting the revenue cutter service ready for alaska. in 1867, the united states purchased alaska from the russians. huge territory. the crew suffered -- you have the bering sea, the high storms and ice and polar cold and arctic dangers. the coast guard got assigned to the area to do police keeping and lifesaving, and he got them ready for that. we are going to say more about that assignment later. worth ross, captain commandant of the u.s. revenue service, he
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1905-1911. he saw that fishing and hunting laws were enforced in alaska. the cutters served as courts on the water and they took criminals back to seattle, and to san francisco, and had lots of duties there. ross, before becoming commandant, served in the u.s. navy in the spanish-american war and won a bronze medal in battle. leonard shepard, captain commandant of the revenue marines in the late 1800s, commanded cutters in the pacific and the atlantic. he is the one that summarized the duties of the coast guard. my friend, the co-author of our book, found this quote. "shepherd, how do you describe your service? he said, we are the maritime constabulary of the nation." that be a better
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summary of that service? mike healy commanded the revenue cutter bear, a famous vessel on the bering sea and arctic waters. it was a rough assignment, dangerous assignment. that was a ship that was 200 feet long, all wooden hulls, six inches, reinforced. it was a sailing vessel but also a steam-coal powered vessel. it was a rugged area. i don't know how he did it logistically. he went to siberia and they got reindeer and brought them to starving inuits in alaska. he cared about the inuits. crew and50 man ca they have powerful deck guns. he got in trouble. he drank too much. he disciplined them severely and even physically. so he got court-martialed and was suspended from the service. they brought him back in. he was hard to replace. he served for 40 years and died in 1904.
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today there is a 420-foot icebreaking cutter named after him the healey. and isrols his region also among the many duties of the coast guard, a scientific exploration platform. they take scientists with them up into the arctic. captain charles shoemaker was chief of the revenue cutter service in the late 1800s. he took the revenue cutter service into the spanish-american war. before he became commandant, an interesting thing happened. he was stationed on a cutter out of mobile bay, alabama. the civil war started. as happens too many times, the revenue cutter captain was a southerner. he turned the cutter over to the confederacy. so lieutenant shoemaker had to walk with his loyal union soldiers all the way across the
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south to get back to union territory and they did. , he lead as commandant in the spanish-american war, with the u.s. navy in partnership. remember, that war occurred off the coast of cuba and the philippines -- all spanish territory. william howard taft early 1900s, he thought for efficiency the , u.s. lifesaving service should be combined with the u.s. revenue cutter service. president woodrow wilson will get that done. in 1915, an act of congress to blend those two agencies to form the united states coast guard, so we can call it the coast guard from 1915 on. world war i was going on in europe and the coast guard had to get darn ready to serve that mission overseas with the u.s. navy. in world war i, the coast guard conducted convoys across the
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atlantic, in the mediterranean up to britain, and they had , antisubmarine warfare with german u-boats. they partnered with the u.s. navy there, too. and domestic port security and they ran port security in some european ports. the coast guard commandant was ellsworth bertholf. he ran the revenue cutter , and congress gave him a flag rank. from captain commandant to commodore. he got the service ready for world war i in articulation with the navy. he was already nationally famous. he was on the revenue cutter bear. they were in the north bering sea, and they got word that whaling ships had become iced in north of point barrow in alaska. the cutter bear could not get
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through that ice, it would have to wait a few weeks before it could. so bertholf led an overland rescue mission 1500 miles through ice and snow and danger. he had a coast guard medical officer with him and inuit , guides and a missionary. somehow they did that and got up to the whalers and the survivors and they had, a herd of reindeer with them and saved the lives of the whalers. by that time, the revenue cutter bear got up there and took the survivors back to the u.s. mainland. bertholf. like many coast guard officers, he attended the u.s. naval war college in newport, rhode island. commandant william reynolds, 1919-1924.
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congress gave him rear admiral rank and he led the service in the prohibition era. that was very dangerous duty. they were like other federal officers enforcing prohibition against some very tough people , had gunfights, and they suffered casualties. that war went on in the atlantic and the great lakes. a surprising amount of liquor came out of canada. that was dangerous and controversial duty. before reynolds became the commandant, he had served in the spanish-american war. the u.s. navy lent the coast guard destroyers to cope with the prohibition assignment and the oceans. the coast guard learned to run those destroyers, the navy taught them how. in world war ii they will be
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running destroyer escorts but , their experience with those navy vessels helped the coast guard a lot for a future mission they did not know was coming. billard finished off the prohibition years for the coast guard. he was super intendant of the u.s. coast guard academy. in world war i, he commanded the u.s. navy vessel, the marietta. showing again the coordination between the two sister services. harry hamlet, rear admiral. prohibition was over by the time he took command. in world war i, he commanded a u.s. navy base. that is how closely the sister services worked together. he moved the coast guard academy from the u.s. army base at fort trumbull in connecticut, to its present site, new london,
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connecticut. he commanded the uss marietta in world war i, and in 1919, in very heavy seas, he got that ship close to the uss james that was sinking in stormy waters, and through masterful seamanship they saved all of the u.s. navy crewmen on it. admiral russell waesche, the world war ii commander of the coast guard, he administered training and assets with the u.s. navy. they had courses together and they operated missions together. plus handling domestic port security. he kept commerce flowing on the
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great lakes. it was iced over much of the year but they had to get the , commerce and agriculture to the war fronts and the allies and to our own troops. and he trained merchant marine crews. so all of the other services and franklin roosevelt gave them commendations for his brilliant leadership. signalman first-class serviceman douglas monroe. the coast guard had to be responsible for landing craft they would move from transport to show and put the other members of the armed forces into the jaws of death against the japanese and the germans. it was very dangerous duty. marines were placed on shore at guadalcanal and that flotilla got back to the transport and the coast guard captain said they are being surrounded by japanese. they are in a bad place. we should have known it.
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we need volunteers to go back and get them. so the flotilla went back. the marines got to the coast guard landing craft and douglas monroe put his craft onshore with a machine gun holding back the japanese and he was killed in action. he got the medal of honor. i gave a speech one time at the admiral nimitz pacific war museum, and it was headed by general mike hagey, former commandant of the marine corps . he came up to me and said the marines know all about monroe. this brilliant woman ran the coast guard women's reserve. she was a psychology professor at purdue, dean of women, and she had the responsibility of training the commissioned and enlisted women to learn all of the specialties that the men
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in the coast guard had so they could run the coast guard in domestic america so the men could go overseas. her skill was just magnificent. the women's reserve was called the spars. commandant joseph farley, gets us to 1950. he started demobilizing the coast guard because the war was over but then the cold war , started with the soviet bloc, and youunist nations, had increased assets, missions, and personnel to cover port security and safety. admiral richmond from 1950's to 1962 -- my pardon, farley and
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o'neill, i better say more about mr. o'neill. he served in world war ii on attack transports. when he was commandant he led the coast guard into the korean war. mr. price is the expert on that mission. i got a lot of my material from his research in my book. commandant richmond from the mid-1950's to 1962. president eisenhower wanted to merge the u.s. coast guard academy with the u.s. merchant marine academy. the coast guard fought that. they trained the merger marines in world war ii and they respected the merchant marines. the coast guard asked merchant marine officers to accept commissions in the coast guard reserve, and many did. the coast guard was happy to have their knowledge and skill.
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captain roland, or commandant roland, he assisted the navy in vietnam. the coast guard patrol boats and crews were sent to vietnam and they handled not only patrol boat missions, but port security and explosive loading in that area. roland went to visit coast guardsmen. commandant willard smith, mid 1960's to 1970, he had to facilitate the transition from the coast guard from the treasury department to the department of transportation. the coast guard didn't like that. lyndon johnson said, you'll do it or i will dismember your service. well, the coast guard said, we will do it if you let us maintain our peacekeeping missions and search-and-rescue, fishing enforcement, but let us maintain our credibility as a
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military service. okay, that happened. you'll notice wings on the uniform of the commandant. a lot of coast guard officers went to the pensacola naval air station and learned to fly planes as they did in world war ii on many missions. as commandant, u.s. coast guard aviators were sent to vietnam. the coast guard aviators were noted for their helicopter skills. the chinooks were another breed. they were very large. the u.s. air force worked with coast guard aviators to go on missions to recover downed pilots, downed aviators in enemy territory. the coast guard was used to land and sea rescues. they did a good job. one lieutenant out of chicago
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flew chinooks and got lots of metals. he lost his life trying to save many men downed in the military. larger coast guard cutters for market time, ocean defense missions. chester bender, you will notice wings on his uniform. he had a distinguished aviation career. he enhanced the mission of coast guard environmental protection, and he modernized the coast guard uniforms. the traditional navy uniform with the dixie cup hat and the bell bottomed trousers. bender said the coast guard has to enforce law and has jurisdiction over civilians. we want them to look more like law-enforcement officers. so he changed uniforms to look like chief petty officer
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uniforms or officer uniforms. he had been in world war ii also and had done anti-submarine war patrol missions. commandant siler in the 1970's, he expanded the drug interdiction mission of the coast guard and worked with the dea and u.s. customs and drug enforcement. he opened the coast guard academy to women for commissioned officers cadet training. he assigned women to oceangoing coast guard cutters. in world war ii, he was part of the early occupation force in japan. john hayes, 1978-1982, he was commissioned outside of japan. the coast guard has a station in
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japan, natsume. in his time before he was commandant, he commanded the loran. he also commanded the u.s. coast guard squadron number one in vietnam, which got a lot of military action. like many coast guard officers, he was a student at the u.s. navy war college in newport, rhode island. james gracey was commandant into the 1980's. he commanded, like several of these men, the ninth coast guard district, the great lakes district they called it, the inland seas. with seasonal variations, it was a challenging assignment. he also established ship boarding protocols. the coast guard can board ships in international waters. to get that, they had to start dealing with the state
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department. the state department had to start dealing with foreign nations. he was a catalyst for that transition of duty. commandant yost -- admiral yost served in vietnam. he was on those swift boats with the navy. he got awards for combat action and being deeply involved in combat duty in vietnam. so when he became commandant, he thought the coast guard should be more militarized. he put missiles on coast guard cutters. that caused some controversy. in war time, yeah, but it's not war now. you run the coast guard in peacetime. he did increase the militarization. after 9/11, he was vindicated that he prepared for that. then he increased coast guard operations in the persian gulf.
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in the middle east, we were getting involved. he had to deal with the exxon-valdez spill, the versatility of the coast guard. commandant william kime, admiral kime, when he is commandant, enhanced the service role in the gulf too. we have been in those wars desert storm, desert shield for , a long time. he thought liquid nitrogen tankers, natural gas tankers, were a very good target for terrorists. he engineered protocols for their protection. a lot of it is classified. commandant kramek, 1994-1998. communism collapsed in europe. the eastern satellites and the soviet union. so he reached out to that part of the world and said, how about joining us in pacific search and rescue, fishing enforcement, border control?
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and he had good relations with the soviets. he started the juniper class cutters, the 225-foot buoy theers that supplanted famous buoy tenders of world war ii fame. some of those are going to be in vietnam. they will have navy seals on the platform looking for viet cong saboteurs, dangerous duty. james loy was at the helm of the coast guard on 9/11. he got the coast guard asset land deployedd magnificently and brilliantly and was respected by all the services for doing it. then he started this deep water acquisition project. the coast guard needed new cutters, state-of-the-art cutters, advanced cutters and technology and ordinance and armament.
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initiated planning for the deepwater technologic acquisition program. he also started planning to put the coast guard out of the department of transportation and into the brand-new department of homeland security. george w. bush as president encouraged this agency to cope with terror. a lot of government agencies are in the dhs, as you know. after the war, he wrote a book on coast guard leadership that is just brilliant. it is studied by corporations as well as the military. character in action. and i used his source, too, in my book on coast guard leadership. i and john did. thomas collins, he taught liberal arts at the u.s. coast guard academy. he guided the u.s. coast guard then from the department of transportation to the dhs.
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he had been a cutter commander. he again got the deepwater asset acquisition program in good progress. he, too, coordinated with the u.s. navy in national defense missions. in fact, there was a board that was formed, called navguard -- the navy coast guard board. he started various specialized coast guard teams to cope with the problems of terrorism and oil spills and everything else. first secretary of homeland security was tom ridge. he was an ideal man to cope with all of the law enforcement agencies and the coast guard missions of peace and war. he was a heroic u.s. marine in vietnam. bush appointed him as the first head of homeland security. commander thad allen. ah, he was good.
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hurricane katrina came to the gulf. he was put in charge. he was the press secretary for the coast guard. blunt, one sentence answers. [laughter] he was very good at that. he handled hurricane katrina so well, the coast guard saved over 30,000 lives. the other military services were there to helping with that tragedy, but that got him in line to be commandant. he did a good job there. then he had the british petroleum oil spill in the gulf cope with. after he was commandant, he still managed the clean that up. he was in indochina in the vietnam war. he was in thailand. he ran a long-range navigation station way up close to viet cong in nva territory. when vietnam collapsed, he had to get that loran station
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deactivated and had to get his sailors out of there. that is a story in and of itself, the dangers of fleeing through the high grass and getting away from vc and nva capture. the deepwater acquisition program ran into trouble. faulty construction and money problems. allen had to appear before congress and suffer a severe tongue-lashing. he knowledged the problem in his intelligence and with a go-to-it attitude, he got the acquisition program turned around. he wanted more naval engineers and experts to get it done right. and he did. he also saw the need to get up to the arctic. wantingnations or
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explorations, polar nations wanted control of resources. he was an environmental protection man. he was a national defense man. so he handled everything. and the gulf oil spill attracted his attention as commandant. retired, no longer commandant, the government still kept him in charge in that disaster. admiral papp, the coast guard commandant 2010-2014. he gave brilliant state of the coast guard addresses. he was very concerned with women casualties the coast guard was suffering in its mission, very concerned with women in the coast guard, and listened to their needs ashore and afloat. he just was a person that could communicate with everybody. he had commanded the u.s. coast guard academy, tall masted eagle
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-- a reparations prize from the germans in world war ii. it is tall masted. it is a sailing cutter. the people on it have to ascend the rigging, and that is quite dangerous. they train cadets for seat-of-the-pants sailing. we will have more to say about that cutter later. he headed the coast guard district up my neck of the woods. he was tough, and yet gentle. we were concerned with terrorism and we were concerned with lots of things. he cooperated with canadian law enforcement. they went on joint patrols in those borderline areas. he was concerned with terrorism and life-saving and icebreaking. he did a wonderful job at the great lakes. "the navy times" ranked him in the top 100 of u.s. military leaders. the national security cutters that came out of the deep water
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acquisition program are exemplified by this coast guard cutter, bertholf, named after the first coast guard commandant. these are state-of-the-art cutters. they are about 418 feet long. they have helicopter platforms, state-of-the-art communications and weaponry, and they have stern launch small boats. they are going to be named after, as some has already been, and others will be, some of the great coast guard leaders we have talked about. the waesche is already at sea. the stratton, the hamilton, the monroe. there's about 113 crew members. the commandant today is paul zukunft. he was a cutter commander a , pacific area commander. now he is the coast guard commandant. the admiral was very happy about the new coast guard museum that
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is being designed. to be at the campus of the coast guard headquarters. he is very concerned with coordinating assets with, as he said, our sister services in these modern times. we must articulate and integrate. he, too, has a masters degree from the naval war college. and the top enlisted man in the coast guard -- steve cantrell, master chief petty officer of the coast guard. he advises the commandant on enlisted affairs. look at all his ribbons. look at the hash marks -- how long he is been in the service. he was enlisted chief petty officer in charge of coast guard units and coast guard cutters. quite a distinguished career himself. now women in the coast guard.
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here is ida lewis, u.s. lighthouse service in the late 19th entry. she was a lighthouse keeper. she went to sea with a rowboat and saved hundreds of lives. very brave and very skilled at sea. very courageous. we have already met dorothy stratton. here is douglas monroe with a winner at honor guadalcanal. his mother, lieutenant edith monroe. she went and got a commission. she was one of the great coast guard leaders. she handled spar units, the women's reserve. she was such an exemplary representative of the service of the coast guard centers all overs the country. she made speeches and informed the public of what the coast guard does. lieutenant commander malk larson. she was the first female u.s. coast guard-u.s. navy rescue
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swimmer. that is like navy seals training. very few men or women get through it. then she went on and got a commission. she learned how to fly helicopters and did more heroic rescues. diane bucci, was an enlisted person. she worked her way up to master chief. the first enlisted female to command a cutter, and she did not too far away from here. she did it on the potomac, the chesapeake bay. she was assigned to duty in the west indies. lieutenant commander holly harrison, bronze star in the persian gulf. cutter in 10 foot cutte eight t the persian gulf, deactivating mines in combat, missions with navy seals.
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here she is coordinating with the navy. quite a heroine. when she got out of the persian gulf area, she commanded cutters and was instructor of law enforcement. she is a national security expert at the famed hoover institute. admiral vivien crea. admiral allen had her as his vice commandant, and someone asked the commandant, what is she like? he said, whipsmart. she learned how to fly every aircraft that the coast guard had. she was so good, she was a presidential military aid. rear admiral cari thomas, commander of the hawaiian 14th district, the pacific all the way to japan, graduated u.s. naval college. she has been a cutter commander.
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her husband is gary thomas. gary is a retired coast guard commander. he ran long-range aid to navigation stations. he ran a cutter. now he's executive director of the foundation for the coast guard history. he wrote the introduction to my coast guard world war ii book, which i was honored to have him do. sandra stosz. she was the superintendant of the u.s. coast guard academy. the coast guard academy is prestigious, all the armed services have a great respect for it. she was its superintendence. she ended that assignment and is nowshe ended that assignment and is going to the coast guard headquarters. i read recently that she will be getting a third star. she also was on the great lakes. she ran that up there on the inland seas.
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rear admiral mary landry. 8th district, new orleans. gulf of mexico, huge area, and the lower mississippi river, where her jurisdiction, and now she is in a civilian capacity in coast guard headquarters. she is what they call an incident commander. vice admiral sally brice o'hara, a district commander, vice commandant to admiral papp, masters degree from the national war college. and here is master chief -- chief -- i smiling am because i see her back here. would you come up, please? >> speech.
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mr. ostrom: chief tina -- let's give her a hand. [applause] how are you? will you tell them about you, and what are you doing here? >> i was stationed onboard the cutter both in 1995 as a new member of the coast guard and again in 2002-2004 as a machinery technician first class. i had the opportunity to serve 2 two tours on eagle. it's an amazing ship. if you have any chance to see it, please stop by, because they take visitors in the port. mr. ostrom: did you have to climb up some rigging? >> as an engineer, i was mostly in the engine room. i did go up in the rigging on occasion to get out into the air and see the sky. mr. ostrom: when i first met her, i said you look cute in your uniform, what is your specialization? she said sexual harassment. [laughter] >> which i currently still do. [laughter] mr. ostrom: you are part of a
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were honored by the women's caucus. would you talk about that? >> they honor all the military services at the women military service memorial. i was a representative to represent all the women in the coast guard, fortunately, for that year. it was a great honor for our service and for all of us to be there. mr. ostrom: what about women's afloat responsibility that you had? >> my last job was where we actually met. i had seen him when he came to speak previously. i was the personal coordinator for enlisted personal assignment. all the cutters in the coast guard, with the age of the cutters, some can accommodate women and some of them can't. i was the the coordinator for those managing , about 700 women afloat. it was a great networking opportunity for me to be that person for them, and advocate for their assignments so that
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they can progress in their careers afloat. mr. ostrom: you are interested in women's history in the coast guard? >> i am. here at the navy memorial, we had an amazing event honoring all of our women to go afloat in the coast guard cutter's garrison. there were 24 women in total that went a float. we were able to find a couple of them and bring them here and honor them and thank them for their service. it was a great event. i just really enjoyed meeting them. growing up in the service, you hear about different women. they are icons in your eyes. to actually see them and meet them and can be a part of that history, it's great. mr. ostrom: where are you from? >> wisconsin. mr. ostrom: we are both from wisconsin. chief, it's an honor to know you. >> thanks for putting me on the spot. [laughter] mr. ostrom: you bet. thank you for being here and for your kind attention. [applause]
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>> tom, on behalf of us here at the navy memorial, we would like to thank you for taking a trip down from minnesota to see us. thank you very much. [applause] mr. ostrom: thank you for your hospitality. you are very nice and you have a nice staff. where is mr. smith? raise your hand. he's on your staff. wonderful people. he told me about the treacherous greenland patrol that the coast guard served in dangerous waters. would you tell them about your dad? >> just briefly, my father was a physician in the public health service. they provided medical care to the coast guard.
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on december 6, 1941, he was assigned as ship surgeon. she spent most of the next 18 months operating out of iceland on convoy duty. one of the reasons i am here now at the navy memorial is i have a strong interest in naval history. he kept the journal of those days, and that is where i first started reading naval history. those were exciting times. mr. ostrom: horribly stormy seas and antisubmarine warfare. >> oh, yes. yes. submarine warfare. she was credited with sinking one submarine. mr. ostrom: thank you all. >> i think we have questions. very thorough. you covered it all. what a guy, too. i feel like we will have to put the spotlight on the master
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chief mark allen for a moment. i was shocked to see him in civilian clothes. a legendary coast guardsman. >> thank you very much for all the information that you shared. i want to point out to the audience to follow with your comments, 29 and 30 of august at the end of this month, eagle will be in the inner harbor of baltimore. the weekend of 29th and the 30th of august. mr. ostrom: what was your specialty in the service? >> i was a force master chief in the last four years. i flew more on southwest airlines than i did writing and boats. also just a minor correction, i think if i recall correctly, there is a star on top of that
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anchor, so this is senior chief. [laughter] [applause] mr. ostrom: he seems too modest to say that. thank you all very much for coming. >> happy birthday, chris. [applause] mr. ostrom: my pleasure. >> carrie, would you mind joining me? the senior chief knows about this. i stood in line 45 minutes today to get this for these two guys. about an hour and a half ago, these were stamped. this is a first day of issue for the coast guard stamp. they would not issue them to us until the ceremony was over. in any case, because of the fantastic support that these
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folks, market particular here , have shown, continuing serving naval service, i want to thank you very much for all you do. [applause] >> thank you all. >> that's really cool. you are watching american history tv, 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span3. at c-spanon twitter history for information on our schedule of upcoming programs. and to keep up with the latest history news. university history professor discusses the rise of socialism in america in the early 20 century. he examines the socialist party in new york city and milwaukee


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